Haverhill PD is looking for the owner of the animal | Haverhill

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HAVERHILL — Animal control officer Michelle Cannon was falling asleep last Thursday night when her phone rang. He was asked by the Haverhill Police Department to come to Bradley Avenue to help care for a dog that a passing motorist feared had been hit by a car when he saw him near traffic dense from Route 110.

Cannon walked to the area where the dog was found and realized that the dog had not been hit by a car, as the 911 caller had reported, but rather had need a lot more care. The dog she found – thought to be a Yorkie mix – lay full of matted fur in a wooded area under a bush, she said. It was dark and raining and the owner was nowhere to be seen.

“(The driver) thought he had been hit by a car, which is a safe guess on a dark, rainy night, so they called the police,” Cannon said. “Essentially, when everyone arrived, before I arrived, the dog’s mat was so big it looked like he had a big tumor, but it was the mat.”

Once the dog was safe in the care of Animal Control, Cannon took him to Bulger Veterinary Hospital in Lawrence for an examination. Doctors took the dog’s vital signs and determined he was healthy, estimated to be 2 or 3 years old. The dog does not have a microchip, Cannon said, which could have led to the identity of the owner if there had been one in place.

Now that the dog is safe and healthy, Cannon began searching for the dog’s owner, who she named “Bradley,” after where he was found. After all, she joked, “‘John Doe’ isn’t that cute.”

A post was posted on the Haverhill Police Department Facebook page on Wednesday afternoon with before and after photos of the dog in hopes the owner or someone who knows him will come forward. Police have opened an investigation, according to Cannon, based on the dog’s condition.

“This condition didn’t happen overnight,” she explained. “The dog certainly wasn’t out for a long time. Due to the extreme heat we had and all of his matted fur, it’s unlikely the dog survived. We’re looking for things like bugs or ticks on dogs that have been out a long time and this dog didn’t have any – he was found very soon after he ended up in this place we are just trying to find out why and how he ended up in this state.

While Cannon acknowledges that the image that shows the dog as it was found can be difficult to see, she said it could help identify the animal’s origin.

“The ‘before’ picture is going to be how does anyone know where this dog lives,” she said. “That’s how they saw it. It would have to be someone visiting someone’s house, it could be a family member or a cable guy – it doesn’t matter who you are.

Anyone with information about the dog is asked to call Animal Control at 978-374-2415. Advice can remain anonymous.

KEEP ANIMALS SAFE AND HEALTHY

“If you have a dog that needs help with grooming, there are financial assistance programs available,” said Cannon, an animal control officer at Haverhill. “Don’t let your dog end up like this. Asking for help is not a crime.

Depending on where pet owners reside, various low-cost grooming programs are available, with grooming available for as low as $25, Cannon said. Some services may even be free depending on the owner’s income.

More information is available by calling a city or town animal control office.

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